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The Internet Piracy Stats

ISPs Throttling BitTorrent Traffic, Study Finds 228

Posted by timothy
from the deep-packet-delivery-service dept.
hypnosec writes "A new report by an open source internet measurement platform, Measurement Lab, sheds light onto throttling of and restriction on BitTorrent traffic by ISPs (Internet Service Providers) across the globe. The report by Measurement Lab reveals that hundreds of ISPs across the globe are involved in the throttling of peer-to-peer traffic, and specifically BitTorrent traffic. The Glasnost application run by the platform helps in detecting whether ISPs shape traffic. Tests can be carried out to check whether the throttling or blocking is carried out 'on email, HTTP or SSH transfer, Flash video, and P2P apps including BitTorrent, eMule and Gnutella.' Going by country, United States has actually seen a drop in throttling compared to what it was back in 2010. Throttling in the U.S. is worst for Cox at 6 per cent and best for Comcast, Verizon, AT&T and others at around 3 per cent. The United Kingdom is seeing a rise in traffic shaping and BT is the worst at 65 per cent. Virgin Media throttles around 22 per cent of the traffic while the least is O2 at 2 per cent. More figures can be found here."
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ISPs Throttling BitTorrent Traffic, Study Finds

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  • by EmperorOfCanada (1332175) on Thursday August 09, 2012 @10:49AM (#40932413)
    Or have a crap ISP like Eastlink that has always throttled uploading of any kind. When I upload using ftp or ssh I am lucky to get 60kbs sustained. 1.6mbs down. The CRTC needs to gets its ass in gear and get some real competition. Toronto isn't all of Canada.
  • Verizon FiOS (Score:4, Informative)

    by CheshireDragon (1183095) on Thursday August 09, 2012 @10:51AM (#40932459) Homepage
    Verizon FiOS isn't doing it...yet. I don't D/L all that often, but I did a few days ago and was not throttled. I can get up to 5.1MB down, but I usually get only 2-3MB on torrents anyway. I have not noticed a change.
    • Ideally, they only shape when congested... Really... I am serious... Stop laughing!
    • Verizon FiOS isn't doing it...yet. I don't D/L all that often, but I did a few days ago and was not throttled. I can get up to 5.1MB down, but I usually get only 2-3MB on torrents anyway. I have not noticed a change.

      I pulled down nearly 2TB last month to test my new upgrade to "quantum" 150/75. I didn't see any performance less than 160/78 during any of that testing. I sure feel bad for those Brits stuck with BT or Virgin. I'd be furious if I was not getting the service I was paying for.

      • I should be going to that speed soon. I am currently on 35/35 and even with that speed a DVD quality movie only takes about 10min. They are making us Texas customers wait for the good stuff. They have been out in this area for 4yrs now and are building out like crazy all over the place. I hope that speed comes soon. :D
      • Just to add...
        I do have to agree with getting what you pay for OR at least getting advertised speeds. I test the speed about once, maybe twice a week and I usually get over the 35/35 at 42/38.

        When I was at Suddenlink(CABLE) in Tyler or Time Warner(CABLE) here in Dallas, they were slower and even less reliable. time Warner went out about every night for 3 hrs and the 15/2 was more like 12/768k off peak. Suddenlink never went down, but the 10/1 they had was 9/512k off peak
      • I'm currently a Brit Virgin user. AFAIK the throttling mainly happens after you use too much daytime (peak time) data. I got a letter from them once asking me to reduce my data usage during the day, so I just adjusted Transmission to switch to full speed overnight.

        I quite often see torrents downloading at 2-3MB/s when going full speed which is plenty fast enough. Ultimately, the ISPs know that torrenters are good customers who are willing to pay for greater speeds, so they shoot themselves in their feet i
  • Alice/O2 ... I pay for the cheap 16Mb/1Mb package (19€/mo with telephone) and I routinely average 1.5-1.8MB/s with uTottent, which seems quite good to me.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday August 09, 2012 @11:05AM (#40932673)

    If I buy a hamburger and fries with a coke at BK, the chuckle-heads behind the counter don't come out and take back ten fries and half the burger.
    If I buy a tank of gas the pump guy doesn't follow me around with a hose and siphon back a couple gallons
    When I use water the city doesn't ask me to pay for 5 hundred gallons and then say I can only use 4 hundred gallons because 5 hundred would just be too much
    When I buy cable TV no one stops me from watching TV 24/7 because I might use too much.
    On my land-line I can make non-stop phone calls to Guam and ask the operator there to connect me to Paris and from there to my next-door neighbor and no one complains that I am tying up a line.
    If I buy anything else in the entire world no one says boo if I use it all up or even how I use it as long as I don't ACTIVELY stop other people from using it.

    God damn it, if you sell me something and I use it, don't come back and say i can't use it because you didn't plan ahead. Get some more bandwidth or cut my rates.

    This is BS! These idiots are just shills for the RIAA and co. No other business in the world works like this.

    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      Insurance companies?
      I pay outrageous premiums then someone backs into my bumper and causes a small dent. I want this dent fixed so I call my insurance to file a claim and they pull a bitch fit because they have to pay 300$(US) for the dent. Then they demand I pay the 500$ deductible and my rates go up. SO, instead I say 'fuck off' to the insurance company and then pay the 300$ myself to get the dent fixed.




      Shall I start in on the medical insurance?




      How about the pharmaceutical companies?
      • by girlintraining (1395911) on Thursday August 09, 2012 @12:12PM (#40933681)

        How about the food industry?

        The average profit margin for most businesses in the US is around 5.5%. The average profit margin for a grocery store is about 0.8%. They also don't charge you taxes, and due to the small margins, most of the people who pick the food and package it are illegal immigrants working for less than minimum wage. It's back breaking work, you're in the sun all day, and your skin is regularly cut up from constantly reaching into bushes, etc., to rip the food from the plant, who has had thousands of years to develop defense strategies to keep animals from doing just that.

        As to medical insurance and pharmaceutical companies, you can thank your government for that -- they handed them a monopoly on a silver platter and give them large private police forces to travel worldwide attacking and imprisoning whomever threatens the profit margin. ISPs also have a government-mandated monopoly, thanks to exclusive contracts negotiated with municipalities that guarantee they're the only provider in an area. In other parts of the world, pills you pay hundreds of dollars for cost pennies, and internet flows freely from giant pipes, fed to you all day long by beautiful women.

        Your government is the sole party to blame for this state of affairs.

        • "The average profit margin for most businesses in the US is around 5.5%. The average profit margin for a grocery store is about 0.8%."

          Yes, but percent margin is an inappropriate measure to use in this situation.

          One of the reasons for the small grocery margin (and how they can get away with it and stay in business), is that they do vastly higher volume than most other kinds of stores. So while their margin might be 0.8%, give or take (I have seen it reported as high as 2%), what really matters is that a store can still make $30,000 profit per day.

          • Yes, but percent margin is an inappropriate measure to use in this situation.

            I can only assume you point this out to distract readers from the point; Namely, that the government has created a monopoly which results in massive profits for those companies at the expense of the people consuming those services.

            Anyway, not that your point has any merit... if it did, grocery companies would be the darlings of Wall Street, protesters would be outside their headquarters protesting their profiteering ways, and the cover of People magazine would regularly feature The Most Eligible Grocer wit

    • by cpu6502 (1960974)

      >>>When I buy cable TV no one stops me from watching TV 24/7 because I might use too much.

      There is a limit to how many channels the cable company can squeeze through the line, so it is self-limiting. How many times have you turned-on the TV and discovered nothing to watch? That's because there's no more room to add an exra channel that you might enjoy (like Space or Horror Channel). It's congestion.

      As for phone calls, they only use 4 kbit/s when digitized so that's why there's no restriction. T

    • by arth1 (260657)

      If I buy a hamburger and fries with a coke at BK, the chuckle-heads behind the counter don't come out and take back ten fries and half the burger.

      No, but in the US and some other countries, McDonalds does sell you a "quarter-pounder" where the small print says that this is uncooked weight, and the local food regulations allow them to add as much water as they like to their ground meat before cooking it.

      What is needed is similar regulation as for the car industry. Where they earlier could say "up to 30 mpg" they now have to be at least slightly more honest, and tell you the typical rate. It should be similar for internet.
      Or, even better, not allow "

  • Countermeasures (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward on Thursday August 09, 2012 @11:07AM (#40932699)

    I've always wondered what it would be like to fight back against some of these throttling mechanisms. Since they rely on breaking tcp/ip (Actually forging packets between you and a third party) I think it would be fair game to poke back at some of these systems.

    Since these are "carrier grade" monitoring and throttling solutions sold by "enterprise" software developers, we can safely assume that they're crap. I'm sure the developers think they're secure, since they're "invisible" passive monitoring/insertion systems. Why is this important? I bet you could crash any and all of pretty easily. I bet it will be as easy as generating some "interesting" traffic, then inserting lots of invalid/random garbage in fields/payloads that the throttling system might inspect.

    This simple "technique" has been known to crash IDS/passive monitoring systems pretty much since they've been around. For whatever reason, nobody thinks that passive monitoring systems can be the targets of attack simply because they're "invisible" and don't respond to direct requests on the network being monitored.

    If not outright crashing, you could attempt to bog down said throttling systems. It might not be hard to create a torrent client that generates a lot of noisy garbage that would cause an asymmetric load on said throttling system.

    • by zlives (2009072) on Thursday August 09, 2012 @11:26AM (#40933005)

      yes and when the isp drops you (especially in small us cities where there might be just the one) you can route all your internets through the post system.

      • by zlives (2009072)

        and that is if you have post privileges after dhs gets done with you regarding the "hacking/causing damge"

      • What would be there reason for dropping you? They were the ones who's software was snooping, and there software had bugs in it. Your packets are not meant for them anyway. And why are they inspection you packets anyway.

    • They are forging packets back to a service independent of those that buy. That itself has to be highly illegal.

  • BT is crap (Score:4, Insightful)

    by CadentOrange (2429626) on Thursday August 09, 2012 @11:11AM (#40932779)
    When I was with them 2+ years ago, not only did they shape BitTorrent downloads they also shaped HTTP and streaming video downloads. I require bit torrent when downloading WoW client updates (don't use it for anything else as I don't have the time. See WoW ...). I noticed things speeded up when I disabled the Blizzard Downloader's P2P functionality. I've also noticed them throttling Steam downloads from about 5 - 9 pm, and they throttle video services that compete with their BT Vision package.

    Avoid them like the plague.

    • by Jamu (852752)
      I'm with BT. AFAIK they only throttle BitTorrent. I've not noticed Steam being throttled. It's impossible to avoid using BT where I am. Even if I pick a different ISP, I'd still be using their infrastructure.
      • It's impossible to avoid using BT where I am. Even if I pick a different ISP, I'd still be using their infrastructure.

        Protocol throttling such as you mention is imposed by BT Retail, not Wholesale. So if you moved to another ISP you would be subject to that ISP's policy, not BT Retail's.

        Wholesale just provide connectivity; they do nothing but deliver the stream to the ISP through L2TP.

        I suggest you try ID Net; they provide BT Wholesale-based ADSL with no throttling or blocking. I used them a few years ago on a BT-only exchange and they were fine.

  • Some of you may have used usenet back in the day when there was a lot of work involving downloading a ton of RARs, PARs, and then going through the process of PARing, and unRARing. However newer software greatly simplifies this process. It even goes so far as to calculate how many PARs you actually need before even downloading them.

    Look up the following apps (they run on all three major OSes):

    Sickbeard, Couchpotato, Headphones, and SABNZBd.

    Beats cable, beats netflix, and beats hulu. Not by a little, but by

    • Some of you may have used usenet back in the day when there was a lot of work involving downloading a ton of RARs, PARs, and then going through the process of PARing, and unRARing.

      Excuse me: some of us actually used USENET back in the day before binary groups were invented!

      Actually I still follow a handful of text-only groups and the quarily of discussion is improving again as web fora draw-away the trolls and twits.

      • So did I actually. It was kind of ruined by the spammers though. I still remember all of the chain mails "send these people on the list 1 dollar each, and then post again with your name at the top." And then it became just plain stupid to include any form of your email address anywhere, no matter how obfuscated, so nobody could ever contact you outside of usenet without you getting spammed hard in the process.

        Trolls don't bother me though.

    • by Hatta (162192)

      I haven't used newsgroups in a long while. How does USENET compare with niche private trackers? Are there newsgroups with cult films, and how does the selection and quality compare with Cinemageddon? Similarly, are there newsgroups that focus on retro games, and how do they compare with UG?

      Basically, if I'm not interested in the popular stuff, will I be able to find my niche on USENET?

  • I limit my total upstream because performance really sucks if you use up more than about 85% or so of your upload speed. The reason is that ACKs will start to get dropped (unless you have a router with a good QoS algorithm). I set my limit to 20KB/sec (I have 6Mb down/~600Kb up, so that's about 33%), and just let it sit longer until I hit my ratio.

    I wonder how many people think they're being throttled when actually they don't limit their upload speed and are completely fucking up their connection with lost

    • Can the QoS feature actually be useful in basic DSL routers? I have sometimes played with it, but didn't get any perceivable results. I have typically used the bandwidth-limiting trick mentioned.
  • by TheSkepticalOptimist (898384) on Thursday August 09, 2012 @11:45AM (#40933253)

    Name another industry in which you pay for an advertised service and then get far far less.

    Would you buy a computer that claims 8GB of ram but you could only utilize 3?
    Would you buy a camera that claimed it could take 1000 pictures but only could store 100 maximum?
    Would you buy a car that advertised 200 HP but could only output 50 HP?
    Would you buy a 3 bedroom house that only has 1.5 bedrooms?
    Would you buy a food product with printed 350g on the container but the contents only weigh 180g?
    Would you pay for a meal if it claimed it would come with sides that you never received?
    Would you buy a gallon of gas if you only got a pint?
    Would you buy a 24 pack of beer if you only got 16?

    So in what FREAKIN reality is it acceptable for ISP's to charge you for an advertised speed and then offer you something far less then that on average.

  • It looks like highly geek touted Teksavvy is one of the worst for throttling in Canada. (disclosure: I use Teksavvy but I don't use bit torrent much if at all, so cannot provide my own observations).

    What is VERY interesting is late last year Bell Canada told the CRTC regulator that they would stop throttling. [www.cbc.ca] And here they are, the worst offender according to the data provided on this new list. I'm not surprised that they seem to be a bunch of lying scumbags. In discussions with the federal regulator and in

    • by Yvan256 (722131)

      I can't seem to find it, but I've read a letter from Teksavvy's CEO about needing to throttle some users in some over-subscribed areas, to the point that they couldn't accept new subscribers anymore and adding people to a waiting list. They had problems leasing more lines to increase capacity or something.

  • The linked table indicates that in the USA only Clearwire (a wireless provider) does any measurable throttling at all.

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